With unemployment on the rise and the current economic downturn expected to stay with us in the New Year, there has been little to look forward to in 2009. However, there are several laws which will take effect on January 1st, laws that will protect workers, consumers and the environment and improve public safety and health access. Here in San Francisco, there will be some positive changes specific to the safety of our community. On January 1, fines will double for traffic violations on 19th and Van Ness Avenues-two of the busiest and most dangerous streets in San Francisco. Tickets will range from $137.00, for speeding, and $2, 750, for reckless driving. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported each avenue, between 2003 and 2007, was the site of more than 500 collisions, a dozen of which involved pedestrians. And according to the examiner.com, 19th Avenue has been dubbed a death trap for walkers, serving 85,000 vehicles and 80,000 pedestrians each day, while Van Ness Avenue serves about 80,000 commuters each day. As part of his signing this bill, Schwarzenegger has pledged that public safety is his top priority, pointing out how critical it is to ensure the safety of everyone on our roadways. Here at the Brod Law Firm, we believe these new penalties will encourage drivers to pay attention and slow down, which should, in turn, begin to put an end to the loss of innocent lives. For we have seen enough wrongful death, car accident and motorcycle accident suits– which have been the result of careless driving on these two roads– not to take note of the importance of this new, and long overdue, law.